Wednesday, June 14, 2006

how to make a nintendo DS lite case from an old pair of jeans and some glue

I gave into gadget lust and bought myself a DS lite when it came out on Sunday. Among my first observations was the fact that despite being truly pocket sized, it unfortunately lacked a way of taking any games or accessories with you. The boxes games come in are illogically large and there wasn't really a good way to stow headphones.

I've seen other homemade ideas, ranging from those that require extensive sewing to those that are, frankly, kinda grungy. I wanted to make something functional that wouldn't require my learning how to sew.

What I came up with was basically a pouch with some extra fabric to wrap around the DS. (click for bigger)
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It kind of looks like it should have drugs or something in it.

The idea basically was to use origami-style folding techniques (you can see this in making the pouch), trial and error, and a crap-ton of glue to make a case that could be stowed in a pocket or (more often for me) the small pocket of a bookbag without fear of scratching or losing my game cards all over the place. You could apply the same concepts (which aren't really even complicated enough to be called "concepts") to make a case for an ipod, a PSP, or any other pocket sized electronic device.

It rolls up like this:
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I made one originally out of an old pillowcase, but wound up making another out of the denim I had saved from making shorts out of an old pair of jeans. As I have no idea how to sew, the whole thing is held together with fabric glue. The pockets for accessories are just extra bits of glued on fabric with one side not glued down.

This is the basic template.

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The top portion can be as long as you want, or rather, as long as however many times you want to wrap the denim around. Everything else is just a little wider than the DS's depth, width, and height. I didn't want anything to be too snug for fear of having to force the DS in and out. It's only held together with glue, y'know.

I cut the denim to be a little larger than the width of the template, and then glued the edges down. This is easily the most time consuming part as you have to glue ALL the cut edges to prevent fraying (similar to how you have to add stitches to hem pants). Note that I also ironed every place I put glue in order to make sure it set properly and out of impatience.

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I then stuck the DS in the bottom and stuck it so a little bit of fabric hung over it. This was kind of a mistake as the denim was too thick to roll up right, unlike the pillowcase I had tried before. It still works fine though.

I then tucked in the corners and glued them to themselves, then folded them up and glued them to the to...wait, screw this. This is impossible to write down. Just look at the pictures.

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I then cut into the edges, folded them in, and glued them down.

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Add some extra panels to serve as pockets for headphones and games, and voila!

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I'm going to ask my girlfriend to help me add a button to it later on. Yes, I am this inept. For now, it works pretty well on its own.

If you want to do this yourself, a few tips:
- cutting fabric will generally be a pain unless you either have a rotary cutter or put weights on the fabric to hold it down.
- an iron will really help this process and will make sure you don't get glue all over your DS in the event you're impatient.
- cut everything a little large so you can just cut more off if it doesn't fit.
- yes, you have to glue the edges. yes, I realize this is a pain.

I've rewritten the above a couple of times to try to make it sound less dry. Studying for the bar means being able to do menial, mindless tasks and generally not being able to write without getting a headache.
In other words:
in: occasional crafting, occasional playing videogames, reading with a very closed mind, doing word problems
out: reading anything of social value, writing anything readable, sleeping
limbo: food, hygeine, social skills, existential rage

What do you think happens when I cut down this pantleg?
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That's right, I wind up with a single very long stretch of fabric.
So in other words, no I did not make myself daisy dukes.

I can't believe people are still stumbling across this!
I've had a bunch of comments for which I can't think of a better way to respond to than the update posted above. Go there, now!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

doodles from the first week of bar prep

The bar prep class I am taking is entirely on video, with different professors and lecturers giving talks on each different section.
The first section, multistate criminal law, was taught by Professor Whitebread, who looked like somehow Henry Kissinger and Ben Stein had a kid that could only talk out of one side of his mouth.

He was an amazing lecturer and kept the class laughing, which makes me think that likely we did crim law first entirely to keep us interested and not thinking we'd made a horrible mistake thinking we could become lawyers, or alternately spending 2500$ on this course.

Over the two days of whitebread, 6 hours total, I drew him many, many times in the margins of the first looseleaf notebook I've taken notes with in a long time.

I drew this the first day of lectures, before I was even introduced to the magic that is Whitebread.
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"yar, I be 12" (what with all the guns and pirate shit)

As usual, the first attempts are like you drew something from an angle that you can never get again.
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I think I was still thinking "ben stein" at this point.

I love taking quotes out of context. This one is "one of doreen's spring guns turns ned's head into goo."
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The spring gun is the seminal device used to illustrate the boundaries of defense of home arguments in using deadly force against an invader. It comes up a lot.
Oh. And he's a loaf of bread now. An angry loaf of bread. I don't know why he's angry, as he was in fact quite chipper during his lectures, in an oddball sort of way.

"We're going to do subtle and sophisticated homicide today"
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He had a bowtie that I kept forgetting to include.
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And somehow a pirate theme got incorporated. I think I kept drawing skulls and crossbones and somehow the two melded together.
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Day 2: I just started with pirates right off the bat.
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My urge to try to make him talk out of the side of his mouth made him look more and more like Dick Cheney as I went on.

Whitebread meets Captain Crunch ("Fuck toucan sam!"). I actually sincerely hope he never finds these, at least not the ones with profanity in them. Not that they're at all accurate or well done or anything.
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Whitebread was either a heavy smoker or was recovering from a cold, because he coughed quite a bit.
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I realized I'd been drawing his glasses all wrong. That + fixing the mouth --> no longer looking so much like Cheney.

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He looks closer to the crazy he looked in real life here, although he kind of looks like your gym instructor now.

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Yeah, I don't even know what's going on here. Suddenly he becomes a tree spirit.

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There will likely be a lot more of these as the next two months of my life evaporate in a puff of smoke.

And in case you are wondering, yes Whitebread has a homepage

In closing, the mental image of Henry Kissinger and Ben Stein in bed together smoking cigarettes will likely haunt my nightmares tonight.